Two sediment cores were recovered in San Simón Bay (NW Spain) in order to establish sediment accumulation rates by 210Pb and 137Cs dating and to reconstruct metal pollution history. Sediment composition was determined by X-ray Fluorescence. A main lithogenic
origin was shown up. Grain size conditions radionuclide activities and element concentrations. Fine grained sediments concentrate
pollutants and showed higher activities. Radionuclide profiles are affected by diagenetic processes and sedimentary disturbances,
but a temporal framework could be obtained for the intertidal area, where the anthropogenic inputs of Cu, Pb and Zn started
several decades ago.